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Boris Johnson meets military chiefs in number 10

Henry Nicholls/PA Wire

By Richard Wheeler, PA Parliamentary Editor

Boris Johnson has been meeting military chiefs in Downing Street to ensure the armed forces are "match fit" in the face of any threat to the UK.

The Prime Minister met the Chief of Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter plus the heads of the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, among others, to discuss plans for the forces.

Mr Johnson has also confirmed the next Nato leaders summit will take place in Watford on December at the Grove hotel.

The talks with British military chiefs and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace follow Chancellor Sajid Javid's announcement of £2.2 billion extra for the Ministry of Defence at the spending round earlier this month.

MPs have repeatedly pressed the Government to increase defence spending, with concerns also raised over personnel numbers and equipment.

Opening the meeting, Mr Johnson said that he wanted to discuss with the chiefs their priorities for ensuring the additional spending delivered "even better results".

"In the job of Prime Minister, there is no higher task than ensuring I work with you to ensure that we are safe in this country," he told them.

Earlier, in a statement, he stressed his commitment to maintaining the UK's "world-class armed forces" in the face of growing global challenges.

"Defence has a vital role to play in supporting global Britain's role in the world," he said.

"It underpins the strength of our alliances and enables us to support the rules-based order in a time of international uncertainty.

On the Nato leaders meeting, he added: "The UK will continue to play a leading role in strengthening the alliance with our armed forces are at the forefront of that effort and I'm pleased that we will be hosting the next meeting of Nato leaders in Hertfordshire, marking 70 years of this vital alliance."

Shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith MP said: "As always Boris Johnson has a loose relationship with the truth. His claim to support our military is deeply hypocritical when his party has cut the armed forces for nine years running.

"All three services are short of personnel and morale is in freefall because of the Tories' short-sighted defence cuts.

"The Conservatives handed our servicemen and women a real-terms pay cut for seven years running.

"Too many personnel and their families are stuck in shoddy housing because of the Government's ideological obsession with outsourcing services to failing private sector companies."

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